Is it a field? A burg? A land?

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I love all the town names in Ohio.  Ashland.  Mansfield.  Olivesburg. 

Over a few hills and past a few farms and another little one intersection town pops up.

After visiting Kidron and Lehman’s we went to Olivesburg General Store.  Olivesburg isn’t too far from Mansfield.  Mansfield houses the prison that was used to film Shawshank Redemption.  So, the ice cream shop inside has their own themed ice cream.

I didn’t have a prisoner sundae but I did enjoy a delicious Buckeye flavored scoop.  Chocolate and peanut butter … Sooo good!

Giving Thanks

Every year I try to remember to write down some of the things I’m grateful for in my life.  Often times I repeat myself but each year there’s usually a few new things that make me grateful beyond all reason.

I had plenty of time to think about things while driving.  So in no particular order…

* I am thankful for good health.  This seems like a given but my body has taken me thousands of miles on bike and foot this year and I’ve escaped my adventures with no major injury.  Illness, yes.  But in the end, it kicked pneuomonia’s  butt.

* I am thankful for chiropractors and the almost instant relief from neck, shoulder, and back pain mine provided

* I am thankful for a freezer full of deer meat.  My .270.  Slaughter Hill.  Ansel Watrous.  Fuzzy rock.  Breakfast burritos and homemade cinnamon rolls. 

* I am thankful for a sheriff named Longmire.  Longmire has provided me almost endless entertainment this year.  I’ve read 10+ books and watched 3 seasons of the television featuring the man from Absaroka County.  It takes a lot to keep by attention so to take that much of it for such a long period of time speaks to the talent of Craig Johnson.

* I’m thankful for friendly neighbors who helped keep my sidewalk shoveled last winter.

* I’m thankful for that very random moment when Trace Adkins stepped out of a small car in the dark and gave my mom and I hugs.

* I’m thankful for our fireplace.  The warmth and the glow.  And the dog that sleeps at its hearth.

* I’m thankful for all of the guinnea pigs who allowed me to take photographs of them.  It was nice to spend time with friends and family and help them celebrate special moments in their life.

* I’m thankful for safe travels via planes, trains, buses, taxis, bike, subway, and boat.  I spent much of this year in motion and I’m grateful for having done it safely.

* I’m thankful for a birthday I will not soon forget.  I peddled from New Jersey to Philadelphia; ate lunch where Washington crossed the Delaware and dinner at two of Philly’s most well known cheese steak sandwich shops.  I ran up the Rocky steps and was treated to an after hours tour of Liberty Bell Center and Independence Hall.

* I’m thankful for that random week or so in the fall that my nephew came to live with us.  It was nice to see him every day!

*  I’m thankful for those quiet morning hours before work where I can drink coffee and wake up at my own pace.

* I’m thankful for my sweet dog Brinkley Miles.  I can’t even imagine a life without him.  He’s always happy to see me, keeps me company in almost everything I do, and never judges me.  He is the epitome of what a dog should be.

* I’m thankful for coffee.  Sweet, sweet coffee.  It’s warming, it’s comforting, and some days it feels like I really could take on the world thanks to coffee.

* I’m thankful for my mom and dad.  I love that they are just as much friends as they are parents.  I’m thankful for their comfy couches, puffy blankets, and constant stream of delicious food.

* I’m thankful for my brothers and their families.  Candyland time, puzzles, homework time, nerf wars, movie dates.

* I’m thankful for the opportunity to ride in the Police Unity Tour.  It was a honor to participate and really was a life changing experience.

* I’m thankful for my job and for my coworkers.  They are good people who are dedicated to what they do.  It’s easy to want to do good each day when you’re surrounded by such awesome people.

* I’m thankful for Ikea and it’s awesome furniture.  I furnished my entire office at an affordable price and I love it.  Every time I walk into my office it’s like getting a big warm inspirational hug.

* I’m thankful for the internet, especially Pinterest.  My introverted personality means I don’t always like to socialize.  Pinterest is this introvert’s saving grace.  I have projects and To Dos to last a lifetime thanks to Pinterest.

* I’m thankful for my husband.  He takes good care of me.  And he tries hard to do good in this world.  His heart is always in the right place and I know I couldn’t live without him.

* I’m thankful for good friends who I don’t see nearly as often as I’d like.  Its great to have friends of such awesome quality that time can go by but when we get together it’s like not a minute has passed since seeing each other.

* I’m thankful for my spoiled rotten little cat.  He’s reached his grumpy old man phase and is more vocal than ever and I love him for it.  He’s one of a kind.

Thanksgiving 2014

My Thanksgiving plans quickly changed this year when Brent’s grandmother died.  We spent two days on the road and made it here in time for the holiday.  This is my first Thanksgiving not eating at home.  There was the one year I flew home from Boston on Thanksgiving but I was still home in time to eat dinner.

I missed my cinnamon roll breakfast and lazy parade watching.  Instead I kind of napped a bit and went for a walk to stretch my legs and prepare for our afternoon feast mostly prepared by Bob Evans.

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Iowa

Rolling hills of corn field after corn field dusted with snow.  Huge barns and silos silhouetted against the rising sun.  It would be picture perfect if we weren’t flying by at 70 mph.

Iowa reminds me of an episode of The West Wing.  Josh, Toby, and Donna miss the motorcade leaving a campaign stop and get stuck in Iowa.  I’d say it’s one of my favorite episodes but anyone who knows me knows they are all my favorite episodes.  Narrowing it down to a Top Ten would be a huge challenge.

I’ve been thinking about The West Wing a lot lately.  I think it has to do with the weather.  Last year about this time I started the series for the hundredth(ish) time. 

I think it’s that time again.  I want to curl up with a blanket and coffee and watch my people.  My Josh, my Toby, my Sam, my Donna, my CJ, my Leo, and my president.  My people.  They make me happy.  They help me keep the faith that good people still exist in this world.

One of these days I want to blog my way through The West Wing.  A blog post per episode.  And I realize no one would really care about those posts but me.

And now we’re out of Iowa…

Busted Can of Biscuits

That’s what I feel like now.  Stuffed like a turkey.  Oomph.

At least another hour on the road.  At least. 

I may have to pace around the hotel to try and make up for this sluggish day of driving.  I did take a few laps around each rest stop but I’m only at about 5,000 steps so far today.

Must try and reach 10,000!!!

Middle of Iowa

Literally.

After taking a four hour turn at the wheel I’m now in the back seat again.  Whew!  I hate driving in the dark So I’m glad my turn is over.

What did I confirm today?  Nebraska is still an empty abyss.  I’ll take Kansas and its hilariously religious billboards any day over Nebraska.

We stopped in Kearney for lunch and ate a BBQ joint – Dickey’s.  It was pretty tasty but way more than I normally eat for lunch.  Travel food is the quickest way to wreck a healthy eating streak.  Blergh.

And now we stop for dinner.

Culver’s.

Sunrise

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I took a few minutes to enjoy the sunrise this morning.  It was gorgeous and fleeting.  It’s amazing how quickly the vivid color comes and goes.

Brent and I are packed and ready for Ohio.  We have our sleep number beds propped up like two old people watching the Ferguson riot.

After dinner I hopped on the trainer and peddled for about 40 minutes.  The crazy ass biased news media and anti-law enforcement rants sent my blood pressure through the roof so I let the bike have it.

How’s that for constructive reaction?  Better than burning buildings and looting, eh?!  I must be more evolved. 

I’ve never talked back to a television more.  Reporters are flipping morons.

Early to bed, early to rise

I think the fatal flaw in my new work schedule is Saturday night.  I not only got to bed late but then could not fall asleep.  And when I did fall asleep I slept like crap.

I powered through the day on only two cups of coffee.  I ate well and hit the gym after work for a run/walk on the treadmill and some abs work. 

Soup, crackers, and tea and I’m falling asleep in my chair.  I could use more than 8 hours of sleep tonight so I’m headed to bed.  At 7:15.  The grad student in me refuses to believe it.

living life one shenanigan at a time

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